Why do High School Seniors Drop Out of School?

The United States Department of Education data indicate that 16.6% of high school seniors leave school before graduation.  The Gates Foundation report, The Silent Epidemic indicates that the major reason for their leaving is boredom.

Many high school seniors have completed all or most of their core subjects and their staying in high school is simply “treading water.”  High schools need to provide reasons for students to stick around.

I suggest that many of these students should be encouraged to take courses that they would need in college.  High schools should link to colleges so that students can get “dual credit” for courses that they take in high school but need for colleges.

Co-op programs where students take courses in the morning and work in the afternoon provide opportunities for learning as well as opportunities to provide some income.

This is also the perfect time for students to gain skills in subjects that they would ordinarily not take like keyboarding or swimming.  A driver’s education course might be given only to high school seniors.  Advanced placement courses are another alternative for students.  Schools might also set up service learning programs so that seniors might connect the working world with the world of school.  Community assistance programs like “senior citizen escort programs” provide another possibility.  Having seniors read to hospital bound children or seniors in nursing homes provide both a intergenerational contact along with an opportunity for personal growth.